The murder of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director of corporate services Isa Njauju has sent shivers down the spines of ACB officers and others working at the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Nation on Sunday has learnt.
Government has since said it is considering a comprehensive review of security of ACB officers and public prosecutors.
The development comes as fears grow that the attack on Njauju would compromise officers’ ability to fearlessly investigate various cases.
Some officers at ACB, including deputy director general Reyneck Matemba, have since confirmed that they have been receiving death threats.
“I can confirm that I indeed received death threats, but I cannot divulge details on the matter,” he said.
Matemba, who said he would not comment on speculation that the assassin who targeted Njauju might have mistaken the director of corporate services for the ACB prosecutor as they drove similar vehicles, added that he would leave that matter to police investigators.
“I can confirm that we had similar vehicles [with Nauju] Toyota Hilux Raiders, but not the same car as being alleged. Unfortunately, I cannot comment further on the matter as we are still mourning our colleague and investigators are doing their work,” said Matemba.
According to a source, another official who received death threats is investigator Kondwani Zulu.
Matemba confirmed that morale at the bureau was low, saying officers were grappling to come to terms with the loss of Njauju.
Another officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, described the mood at the graft-busting agency’s headquarters in Lilongwe as simply a “funeral”.
He said the office was yet to come to grips with the assassination of Njauju.
“Every day is still like a funeral. Nobody is having a normal day. We are finding the going tough. Nobody is motivated to work anymore,” said the officer.
ACB senior public relations officer Egrita Ndala referred the matter of death threats to police, saying the bureau was just cooperating with police, which is the lead agency in both the investigation into the Njauju killing and threats to ACB officers.
At the Ministry of Justice, where the DPP chambers are located, the attack has shaken even the most seasoned lawyers.
“Everybody now wants assurances on security. So far, people are saying it is ACB under attack, but who might be next?” said a top government lawyer.
Minister of Justice Samuel Tembenu said on Friday in an interview, that he is due to meet ACB officials to chart the way forward, but added that it was understandable that officers were in shock and living in fear following the attack.
Tembenu said government was now considering a comprehensive review of the security of all players in the justice sector, including lawyers at DPP and ACB officers.
“I was outside the country and I arrived when the incident had already happened. By Tuesday, I am expected to meet ACB directors and then meet the staff at ACB and address them directly on the matter. It is very understandable that the attack has left many in fear, but as government we are doing all we can to ensure their safety,” added Tembenu.
He said his ministry was concerned with the attack and its impact on justice delivery.
National Police headquarters spokesperson Rhoda Manjolo said the police were doing everything possible to boost security.
But Manjolo could not give specific measures police have taken to protect the lawyers and ACB officials.
“As you have noticed, security concerns prevail across the country and as police we are appealing to the public to cooperate with us. These people who are terrorising the public are our neighbours; let us come forward so that we help police do their work,” added Manjolo.
The late Njauju was found dead on Saturday and is suspected to have been hijacked by an unknown gang which later shot him dead and set ablaze his official vehicle n